Tweet Share Whatsapp Email #BreakTheBias is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. As a recruitment company, Lewis Sanders has a very unique window to gender equality issues, so to celebrate this year’s theme, we asked some of our very own team members to share their views. In this final part, Nicole Hu, Senior Consultant, shares her thoughts with us. Nicole is involved in both private practice and in-house recruitment, focusing on placing US and PRC qualified lawyers across Hong Kong and China. Prior to becoming a recruiter in 2015, Nicole was an event producer specialising in designing and delivering legal and compliance conferences across APAC. She holds an MSc in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour from Lingnan University in Hong Kong. If you had the power to eliminate one gender stereotype, what would it be? I would eliminate the expectation for women to prioritise family over their careers, while men are naturally assumed to be breadwinners. Although it is happening less now, some female candidates are still being asked about their marital and family status, while these questions are directed at male candidates much less frequently. Why do you think this is important? Because it is difficult to create equal work opportunities between men and women if this stereotyping continues. Employers are understandably looking for the most committed individuals to join. Sometimes, the assumption is that female candidates are not as committed to their careers as their male counterparts because they will eventually become the key caregiver at home, or even stay-at-home mums. This affects a woman’s chances of landing her desired job. It is important for employers to appreciate that homemaking responsibilities no longer fall on women by default (I know some great stay-at-home dads!) and, even when we bear those responsibilities, we can continue to be just as committed to our careers. What advice would you give to young women entering the workplace on dealing with this? I think this generation of youth already has better awareness of gender issues in the workplace and, therefore, more equipped to deal with them. For young women looking to improve their job search success rate, it is important to show employers that you are committed to your career. For example, talk about long-term aspirations in a tangible way, and convey a clear picture of where you would like your career to be five to ten years from now. For those already at work and are looking to accelerate their progression, focus on performing well by objective standards, as this will not go unnoticed by good employers. Also, make sure you speak out and lean forward when competing – don’t shrink back if you really want to fight for something. If we collectively do this, gendered stereotypes can be minimised in time.